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Man they sang out of tune back in the day too!
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo ➑️
But to a degree it proves my point, give me a 60's version of Brittany. You can't because it didn't exist.
.
Brady Bunch & Partridge family girls.... (Minus the stomach turning rag mag pix)
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Pitch in and of itself is not the whole story. Paging Van Morrison. Do you think there are many singers in that league on your block? That's called a 'first take' vibe w/ no fixes.

Inglewood SoundBarn
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #33
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
True, lots of seventies and eighties singing is off. Headphones wrecked pitch, and loud control-room volumes were the trend, which impedes everything.

Journey, Van Halen, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, and a hundred others, the singers were off ...too sharp half the time. Ouch!

Go back to 60's ..great singing. Byrds, Beatles, CSN&Y, Buffalo Springfield, Peter Paul & Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, on and on ..all perfectly fantastic singing.

Then, of course the fifties, Patsy Cline, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat Cole, etc ..mind boggling good.

And fourties! ..too many to name ..fantastically mind boggling good.

It's all there on the records to compare.
'
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #34
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
true true true

Inglewood SoundBarn
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #35
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FireMoon's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I do find it interesting that one of the iconic voices listed here as being able to sing and i've no doubt they could, use to record every single phrase, and often word separately...
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #36
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3rd&4thT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Everybody since the death of 78s has taken advantage of compositing, whether it be on tape or digitally.

Marilyn Monroe famously recorded every number a zillion times. Then they comped together the phrasing they wanted, played the assembled recording for her, and she then attempted to sing the whole song that way for a final take.

Now we just omit that last step.

For the first 50 years of recording, you had to get the whole side right, whether it was two and a half minutes for pop, or four and a half for classical.

My favorite quote is from a conductor. The first time Otto Klemperer heard an orchestral piece assembled on tape from a bunch of different takes, he turned to his daughter and said, "Lotte, ein schwindel!"

And we've all been happily swindled ever since.

Cheers,
3rd&4thT
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #37
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ricfoxx's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The music biz sucks at selling anything inspiring. The empty suits dont get it. Thats why they instantly turn to selling sex to 13 year olds and 13 year old mentalities, really sad business model. They will reap what they sow and thats whats wrong with the music biz. You dont build your business on a group of people that will illegally download music.

Music follows the mental state of this country and unfortunately music is exactly where we are as a people.

As far as Auto-tune is concerned...Digital seems to be ultra accurate and a slightly out of tune vocal seems to stick out like a sore thumb. Using AT is like actors getting work done on their face because of HD TV. A little work...not to bad...A lot of work, great from a distance but just plain freaky up close. Then their are the naturals...lets say Jessica Alba and there is nothing like natural beauty.

We look back and glamorize the old days but man so much of that music really sucked back then too just like now but there are always the diamond in the ruffs...Nora Jones, Amy Winehouse, Alison Krauss, John Mayer, etc...

Im with James on this one...too many "old Skoolers" on this board with emotional ties to how it was in the old days. Great music then and great music now. Bad Music then and Bad Music Now!!!

If anything good comes out of this economic downswing is maybe people will have a soul again and forget all this fake living.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #38
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robot gigante's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
There are some smoking vocalists nowadays just as there were back then!

Not that being a great vocalist will always guarantee success or that today's successful singers are the best out there, but there is a lot of talent now too.

One aspect where I think as to why vocals from the past are sometimes more interesting is that vocal arrangements from those days are a lot more creative, and there was a lot more leeway for certain techniques such as bending notes, like people here are saying.

But those vocalists now that can hit the autotune sound without autotune and in close to perfect pitch are pretty scary good as well if you ask me! Not that I am a big fan of that style of vocals or anything, but you have to chalk that up to preference of style and not talent.

Also today's vocalists that can do crazy airtight R&B stacks where you got ten to twenty to even thirty or more stacks that are pretty super damn airtight already before editing or tuning- that's pretty inspiring to me!
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #39
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theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo ➑️
But to a degree it proves my point, give me a 60's version of Brittany. You can't because it didn't exist.

I will give you there's no modern Devo...lol I'm just f**kin with you.
That would have to be Nancy Sinatra, I'd say.

There are some un-lip-synced live performances that reveal how out of her league she was as a singer. One of the few live performances I can remember where her singing isn't too bad is a version of "Something Stupid" with her old man. She wasn't great but it wasn't the trainwreck that some of her other (rather rare) live vocals were.

Don't get me wrong, "Boots" or even "Phaedra" strike me a lot better than most of Brit's work -- which can have good enough production, but, man, those insipid lyrics -- I made a point of listening to her previous album [and wrote a 'real-time' review of it over at HC] and some of the production tricks were kind of amusing... but the words were so unbelievably stupid. And not just stupid -- but 5 to 10 years and sometimes more behind the times in terms of slang and buzz expressions. Stupid is excusable in tweeny music. Behind the times? I'm not so sure...
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #40
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm confused as to who are these out of tune singers the OP is referring to. For me the only major singer from the 60's who hit a couple of wrong 'uns was Dylan.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #41
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Batchainpuller78's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
How about Neil Young? :p
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Okay Bob Dylan and Neil Young! (though I think of him as more 70's.)
Old 30th January 2009
  #43
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davet's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
There's at least one version of Sweet Judy Blues Eyes by CS&N that makes me cringe everytime I hear it. I like the song, but there are more than a few klinkers in it.

Bette Midler in another one that makes my ears hurt too.

DaveT
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #44
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brutze's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Eh. Correct me if i'm wrong but,

I was under the impression that there WAS lots of pitch correction (tape bouncing with tape speed/Eventide) and pitch "fudging" (chorusing/layering) going on in the seventies.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #45
Led
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Led's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sung slightly flat "Congraaaatts on the weddiiiiinggg sha la la"
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #46
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Sqye's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanabit ➑️
I cant believe James dissed the 70's lightning is coming I can feel itstike
.

yeah, wtf?..james, are you fukkin' wit us?...heh
summuh the best records EVER.......


so, let me see if i got this straight....

some of the best singers ever never used to always sing in tune most of the time?

most of the best singers never used to always ever sing in tune some of the time?

most of the singers today never used to ever sing in tune ever back in the day?

some of the singers today always used to sing out of tune back in the day always?

many of the singers back in the day never used to always sing in tune even once in a while ever?

all of the singers back in the day never used to always sing out of tune today ever?


am i getting it?........heh...

.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Of course, there have always been people who could sing, and a lot more that couldn't. Diss Dylan and Young and anyone else you want, but they could not only hold a tune, but sounded like no one else. And captivated people. So many of the modern singers are so interchangeable, and so uninteresting, tuning or not. Most of these people never would have made it back in the time you had to sell a song with an actual vocal performance.

Even cheesy 80's stuff. I heard an old Night Ranger tune on the radio and he holds those notes out really long, and solid, and there is no autotune, he's actually singing.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #48
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
That anybody can sing "in tune" is a miracle. Those tiny little vocal folds have to thin and thicken and stretch just the right amount. It's a miracle, I say...a miracle!

Antaren
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #49
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great ➑️
Of course, there have always been people who could sing, and a lot more that couldn't. Diss Dylan and Young and anyone else you want, but they could not only hold a tune, but sounded like no one else. And captivated people. So many of the modern singers are so interchangeable, and so uninteresting, tuning or not. Most of these people never would have made it back in the time you had to sell a song with an actual vocal performance.

Even cheesy 80's stuff. I heard an old Night Ranger tune on the radio and he holds those notes out really long, and solid, and there is no autotune, he's actually singing.
Hey, I'm not criticising Neil Young or Dylan, just saying there's a bit of wobbling here and there. To me its endearing, reminds you it was a real performance by a real person (though there's a chorus near the end of Tambourine Man that's an out and out doozy.)
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #50
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think singers today are technically better and back in the day there was better artists .
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #51
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️
I think singers today are technically better
Really? Name a few.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #52
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This debate reminds me of the 80's when people were saying drum machines were better than real drummers, because they were 100% accurate.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #53
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idylldon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"When everything is made perfect it can become insignificant." -- Geoff Emerick

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #54
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theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutze ➑️
Eh. Correct me if i'm wrong but,

I was under the impression that there WAS lots of pitch correction (tape bouncing with tape speed/Eventide) and pitch "fudging" (chorusing/layering) going on in the seventies.
The tape thing is such a hassle that it was pretty much an emergency/last resort thing... I heard about it in the 80s as a legendary move that saved one note on an album by some then-diva who had already left for an overseas tour.

But I did participate in a session (I was producer, I think I'd just got back with the burgers and shakes) where the engineer did use that technique to fix a sax note when the sax wasn't available. It was a little 16 track TASCAM studio at the time (early mid-80s) and the engineer was a whiz at milking it for everything he could get out of it. (He later picked up a grammy. Not on our project. heh )
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #55
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
If it's old and out of tune, it's art. If it's new and out of tune it's crap. Everyone knows this.

But, there's out of tune and there's out of tune. Neil Young, mentioned above, is a perfect example. We'll all heard these songs from certain artists who aren't particularly good singers, or even really bad singers, but manage to do something that is completely mesmerizing, because there's just something about how they are out of tune that speaks of angst and suffering or something.

Something like this from the movie "Brothers of the Head", which I'd highly recommend as well.

YouTube - Brothers Of The Head - My Friend

This gives me the chills, though it's very primitive and the playing and singing aren't particularly good. They two guys here aren't gay, they are siamese twins, which isn't necessarily obvious from this video.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #56
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drmmrboy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm ➑️
Since the advent of digital fix-it techniques there has been a big shift in what is considered acceptable. Many of what we consider the greatest records of all time would get rejected by the label if they were recorded today.
I thought the same thing, well half of it. Yes, "there has been a big shift in what is considered acceptable." But I tend to think many albums recorded today would be rejected if they were recorded back then.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #57
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superburtm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm ➑️
Since the advent of digital fix-it techniques there has been a big shift in what is considered acceptable. Many of what we consider the greatest records of all time would get rejected by the label if they were recorded today.
WHICH IS A PITY...those "imperfections" are what we as listeners relate to and feel along with a great delivery obviously
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #58
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by drmmrboy ➑️
I thought the same thing, well half of it. Yes, "there has been a big shift in what is considered acceptable." But I tend to think many albums recorded today would be rejected if they were recorded back then.
And rightly so.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #59
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popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I was listening to 'Toxic' last night by Brittany, to me that is a flawless performance in every way. Tons of feeling, may be not what you may be feling but I had a 15 year old girl in the studio and when we cracked up 'Toxic' she went nuts started dancing and singing. If I would have put on Roberta Flack she would have started checking her email. It's all the same.
I think you're way off base here. Don't mix familiarity with quality. Roberta Flack, in the day, would lay waste to CORRECTED Britney. Let alone sans Autotune. Linda Rondstat? Could there BE a more perfect female singer? Can you tell me someone now with the world of digital correction that can "bring it" like that?

But, then, I'm of the opinion that pitch is not as absolute as musicians of a certain mindset think it is. A does NOT equal 440 as part of an F major chord. And how it's approached...or left...similar, but MORE than any other instrument is the nuance that connects. I remember the owner of a studio I worked in being pissy back in the day about Whitney's "I will always love you"--that "big note"--you know the one. The one that he claimed was so flat. I was like, "Flat or not...could it BE more gut wrenching? And isn't that the point?"

I think in the age of digital analysis and onscreen visual readouts, we forget to trust the two things that matter most...our ears and our hearts.

Now, I can point out a whole lot of records from my youth in the 80s that had plenty of lame "guys who shouldn't sing that high" doing it, to the detriment of both tone and pitch...I'm not saying all singing prior to Autotune was amazing--by any stretch. But, it was what it was. Now, what's worse than taking someone who can't sing for **** and making them acceptable, is taking someone with a great voice and making them ONLY acceptable, in the wrong belief that A always equals 440 and the engineer knows better than the singer.

I'm with Ronan on the change in "what's become acceptable". Between your rise of college alterna rock...and autotunetuned boy bands, singers have had to take jobs as accountants and teachers in the 90s and on.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #60
Gear Addict
 
JordanA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I would much rather hear the sound of someone slightly out of tune, than the sound of autotune anyday. I need to hear imperfections in music. Without them, everything sounds so sterile, unhuman, and unnatural. Same goes with analog instruments versus digital ones.
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